Prof. Wendel: Allocating Property Rights in Newly-Discovered Antiquities: An Economic Analysis

12.07.2011 (18:30)

Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg / Sitzungssaal 0.283 / Erdgeschoß / Schillerstraße 1 / 91054 / // Erlangen

Zu dem oben genannten Thema spricht:
Professor Peter Wendel  (Pepperdine University School of Law)  

Begrüßung:
Rechtsanwalt Walter R. Hippel (DAJV Erlangen-Nürnberg)

Professor Peter Wendel erwarb im Jahre 1979 einen B.S. an der University of Chicago, 1980 einen M.A. an der St. Louis University sowie im Jahre 1983 einen J.D. an der University of Chicago Law School. Er ist als Professor an der Pepperdine University of Law tätig. Seine Expertise liegt auf den Gebieten Property, Wills und Trusts.

Professor Wendel beschreibt den Inhalt seines englischsprachigen Vortrages wie folgt:
"Newly-discovered antiquities are ‘mixed goods.’ They have a physical component (the object itself) and an intangible component (the archeological and historical information associated with the discovery). This dual nature justifies government intervention into the market, not to capture the positive externalities associated with the antiquity but to minimize the negative externalities associated with the law of finders. When the typical finder excavates an antiquity, its historical and archeological information is severely damaged, if not destroyed. Source countries responded by enacting state ownership/retention statutes, but they have their own negative externalities. They create incentives for finders to turn the black market to secure financial compensation and to destroy the historical and archeological information to make it more difficult to catch them. This raises the issue of which is worse as applied to newly-discovered antiquities: market failure or government intervention failure?

Source countries need to create a stronger incentive for finders to report their finds. In theory this is easy: pay the finders more. In practice this is difficult because source countries tend to be antiquities rich but revenue poor. A possible solution is a possessory estate and future interest approach to newly-discovered antiquities. If the finder reports the find, the finder would receive a transferable term of years and the source country the future interest. A transferable term of years creates an incentive for the finder to go public with the find – the finder can profit from his or her discovery. The source country receives ultimate ownership of all newly-discovered antiquities at minimal cost (western museums will be the likely purchasers; they will pay for the cost of creating the incentive). Western museums will get a chance to possess, study and exhibit newly-discovered antiquities (albeit for a limited time period). A possessory estates and future interests approach could help end the current feud between source countries and western museums, two entities which should work together to secure and protect newly-discovered antiquities, not waste resources fighting each other."

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Dr. Ludwig Leyendecker    Professor Sharon Byrd   Walter Hippel
Vorsitzender                         Regionalvorstand                Regionalvorstand 

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